Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Flight Review - JQ7 (Mel-Sin)

As promised, this blog will feature flight reviews also.  So here is the first of them!

Aircraft carrier:  JETSTAR INTERNATIONAL
Aircraft type:  Airbus 330-200
Flight Duration:  approx. 8 hours



Overall flight rating:  5.5/10
Inflight food rating:  6/10
Staff friendliness:  4/10


Before we stepped foot onto our plane, both my father and I were distressed as we presented our web check-in document to the desk at Melbourne Airport.  Some airlines are extremely strict with luggage allowance, and JETSTAR happens to be one of these airlines.  There was no problem with our luggage, just that the lady at the counter made a scene about how going over the allowance would cost us $25/additional kg.  Why she bothered - when we were clearly under - i don't know, but I suspect it just made her feel that extra bit more important.  Most other airlines (even budget such as AIRASIA do warn about going over, but are usually kind to passengers regarding tolerance).  What also confused us is that she asked for our ticket from SIN-(another destination).  I don't know where she got this idea from but apparently you need a VISA to visit Singapore now, despite the fact we arrived at the airport and were granted with 3 months stay as visitors which has always been the case...  Quite frankly, it was none of her business where we were going next, and no other airline has ever done this before, so this is complaint #1.  I realise this suggests there must be many more complaints along the way, but this is not an entirely negative review.  You've got to seek the positive experiences from each flight, no matter how difficult it may be:)

Complaint #2 - Our aircraft was delayed by 1 hour as the aircraft was not towed to the gate until 15 mins AFTER our departure time from the gate (note - not boarding time).  Thankfully, we were prepared for this and didn't arrange any connecting flights from Singapore until the next day.  Finally, boarding the plane was no issue, and the crew attempted to work very quickly (they really had no choice with complaining passengers).  It's not a big delay, but you can imagine how upset some were due to connecting flights.  Before we took off, the captain was polite and sincerely apologised which - although is usually expected by passengers - was a nice gesture.  And yes, they apologised 3-4 times again before we took off and several more times when we landed at Changi - which just seemed a little over the top :)

Complaint #3 - What happens when the person sitting next to you falls asleep in a record-breaking time whilst you take a stroll or bathroom break?  You CAN wake them or you can be polite.  We chose the latter.  The passenger next to my father fell asleep and took up all of the seats.  So, we decided to find some empty ones at the back.  We and several other passengers sat in them for quite some time with no hassle.  Then, one of the crew chased us out in a very unpleasant manner, completely disregarding our situation.  Nonetheless, we got up out of the seats and went to return to our former ones, but with no luck, the passenger was still sound asleep.  So we went back asked him if we could sit back down on the seats we were kicked out of.  Again, he was very arrogant and persisted that we stand at the back of the aircraft, despite the fact we were blocking the corridor for other passengers.  So, we called the flight director (otherwise known as flight 'manager') and explained the situation.  She was extremely apologetic which was a nice contrast to the attitude of the other crew member.  He was talked to and we got the seats back.  Yes, budget airlines have their disadvantages and you can complain as much as you wish.  However, when you compare the service provided by other competing budget airlines such as AIRASIA, you'll be amazed at how friendly their crew are and what a pleasant experience it is flying with them.

Sure, there were certain complaints but all in all, the flight was manageable.  I've travelled on various different airlines (which I'll review in due time) including both budget and non-budget.  This one was generally smooth and the A330 handled the 8hour flight well!

Our inflight meal that we chose was beef steak with mashed potatoes.  The beef was relatively tasty, and the mashed potatoes were well seasoned.  However, the carrots and beans were straight from a can, soggy and didn't suit the rest of the dish.  The tea/coffee/hot chocolate beverages were mixed with luke-warm/cold water which was revolting and something that should be monitored more carefully.  There's nothing better than getting a 'cold' hot chocolate right?  I could have asked for an iced-chocolate if I really wanted...  Finally, the food and beverages were over-priced.

The take-off and landing were relatively smooth compared to some of the rougher ones I've experienced on other flights (especially in America).

Unlike AIRASIA and TIGER AIRWAYS, JETSTAR is located at Terminal 1 Changi Airport.  The others are allocated to the 'budget' terminal, which is not too bad also.  That's the one thing about airports in Singapore...  They care about their facilities and commuters a lot more.

From Terminal 1, we set off to Singapore City and that in itself is another blog post...  In the meantime, here are some photos :)

Boarding our flight from Melbourne International Airport to Singapore International Airport



Jetstar A330 Cabin (it was a full flight!)


Beef steak pieces, mashed potatoes and vegetables


Volcanoes about 40mins before landing at Singapore Airport




5 minutes from touch-down in Singapore


Ramp at Singapore airport.  The Qantas A380 can be seen!








Finally, arrived at Terminal 1, ready for an adventure, or an 'opportunity'...




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